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Sunday, August 20, 2017
Date Posted:

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Faces Hostile Demonstrations

British Church Newspaper – 15 September 2006
British Church Newspaper

Pope Benedict XVI starts a six-day official visit to Bavaria on 9 September in what many believe will be a last farewell.

Joseph Ratzinger who became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, grew up in the Roman Catholic-majority southern state of Bavaria and is immensely popular there.

The Pope's only living relative, his 82-year old brother, the Rev George Ratzinger, still lives off a narrow alleyway in the old town of Regensburg. On 13 September, the only private day of the trip, he will lunch at his brother's apartment before visiting the graves of his parents and sister.

But in a country divided evenly between Roman Catholics and Protestants not everyone is seeing the visit in a favourite light.

Munich's mayor, Christian Ude, told journalists, "We are expecting a wave of enthusiasm." But his deputy has called for a demonstration against the Pope.

In the past many ordinary German Roman Catholics regarded Cardinal Ratzinger's theological conservatism as out of touch with their situation.

The Lutheran bishop of Bavaria, Johannes Friedrich, has appealed to the Pope to not only see the jubilation and enthusiasm of the crowds but as a German Pope also deal with the problem of mixed Protestant-Catholic marriages where couples are unable to receive Communion together.

The large, liberal, RC lay organisation We Are Church is planning to tail the Pope. They demand a less rigid hierarchical system, married priests, ordination of women, a more positive attitude to ecumenism, that he listen to critics, makes better use of the laity in the face of falling numbers of priests, and shows less opposition to abortion and a more favourable attitude to remarried divorcees and homosexuals.

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